Cohen: Significant NBA Happenings in History That Many Have Forgotten or Ignored
Cohen's Analysis: Sure, we can look back and say there was no chance anyone was beating Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in any of those six years they celebrated in the 90’s.
But some who closely watched every single playoff game in those years believe there was one team who may have had an outside chance to stun and negate Chicago’s double three-peats.
It was the New York Knicks and the 1997 NBA Playoffs.
The Knicks had the complete package that season. Patrick Ewing was healthy and dominant, New York had added Allan Houston and Larry Johnson prior to the start of the year and the rest of the supporting cast, including John Starks and Charles Oakley, appeared ready to challenge the mighty Bulls.
After sweeping Cleveland in the first round and after winning three of the first four games in its second round series vs. Miami, there was already a ton of anticipation for a Knicks-Bulls conference final.
But in Game 5 against the Heat, an altercation completely obliterated all the impending hype. New York’s Charlie Ward and Miami’s P.J. Brown got into a heated scuffle with Ewing, Houston, Starks and Johnson all leaving the bench during the quarrel.
It was decided by the league that Ewing, Houston and Ward would be suspended for Game 6 in New York and if Game 7 were necessary, LJ and Starks would miss the finale.
Well, the shorthanded Knicks couldn’t prevent the Heat from winning in each of those final two games and a New York vs. Chicago series was denied.
The Heat lost in five games to the eventual champion Bulls.
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